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Country.

SIR: In pursuance of the provisions of section 25 of the act of August 28, 1894, I present in the following table an estimate of the values of the standard coins of the nations of the world:

Values of foreign coins.

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(20468.)

Values of foreign coins.

[Circular No. 1.]

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, BUREAU OF THE MINT,
Washington, D. C., January 1, 1899.

1

Standard.

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Gold and sil

ver.

Silver...
Gold.

British Hon- Gold.

duras.

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.........

CUSTOMS.

Silver............

Gold.........

Monetary unit.

Peso.......

Crown......

Franc.....

Boliviano.

Milreis...

Dollar....

Colon

Dollar

Peso...........

Peso.................

Amoy.

Canton....
Chefoo....

Chin

Kiang.
Fuchau...
Haikwan

(Cust'ms)!

Silver............. Tael Hankow

Hong

Value in terms

of U. S. gold
dollar.

wang... Ningpo....

Shanghai

Swatow
Takau....

Tientsin..

$0.965

.203

.193

.439

.546

1.000

.465

1.000

.439

.365

.693

.656 .722

.664

kong... (*) Niuch

.710
.708

.679

665 .682

.648

.655

.714

.688

Coins.

Gold: Argentine ($4.824) and 1⁄2 Argentine. Silver: peso and divisions. Gold: former system-4 florins ($1.929), 8 florins ($3.858), ducat ($2.287), and 4 ducats ($9.149). Silver: 1 and 2 florins.

Gold: present system-20 crowns ($4.052); 10 crowns ($2.026). Gold: 10 and 20 francs. Silver: 5 francs.

Silver: boliviano and divisions.
Gold: 5, 10, and 20 milreis. Silver: 2,
1, and 2 milreis.

Gold: 2, 5, 10, and 20 colons ($9.307).
Silver: 5, 10, 25, and 50 centimos.

Silver: peso and divisions.

Gold: escudo ($1.825), doubloon (83.650), and condor ($7.300). Silver: peso and divisions.

*The "British dollar" has the same legal value as the Mexican dollar in Hongkong, the Straits Settlements, and Labuan.

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Respectfully, yours,

Hon. LYMAN J. GAGE, Secretary of the Treasury.

GEO. E. ROBERTS,

Director of the Mint.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, January 1, 1899.

The foregoing estimate, by the Director of the Mint, of the values of foreign coins, I hereby proclaim to be the values of such coins in terms of the money of account of the United States, to be followed in esti

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mating the value of all foreign merchandise exported to the United States on or after January 1, 1899, expressed in any of such metallic currencies.

O. L. SPAULDING,

Acting Secretary of the Treasury.

(20469.)

Act of December 21, 1898, relating to American seamen, etc.

[Circular No. 2.]

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, BUREAU OF NAVIGATION,
Washington, D. C., January 3, 1899.

To collectors of customs, U. S. shipping commissioners, and others:
Your attention is invited to the act approved December 21, 1898,
to amend the laws relating to American seamen, for the protection of
seamen, and to promote commerce. The act, which will take effect
sixty days after the date of its approval, is appended.

Such regulations as may be necessary under the act will be framed and promulgated from time to time.

EUGENE T. CHAMBERLAIN, Commissioner.

Approved :

O. L. SPAULDING, Acting Secretary.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section forty-five hundred and sixteen of the Revised Statutes be, and is hereby, amended so as to read as follows:

"SEC. 4516. In case of desertion or casualty resulting in the loss of one or more seamen, the master must ship, if obtainable, a number equal to the number of those whose services he has been deprived of by desertion or casualty, who must be of the same grade or rating and equally expert with those whose place or position they refill, and report the same to the United States consul at the first port at which he shall arrive, without incurring the penalty prescribed by the two preceding sections."

SEC. 2. That section forty-five hundred and twenty-two of the Revised Statutes be, and is hereby, amended so as to read as follows:

"SEC. 4522. At the foot of every such contract to ship upon such a vessel of the burden of fifty tons or upward there shall be a memorandum in writing of the day and the hour when such seaman who shipped and subscribed shall render himself on board to begin the voyage agreed upon. If any seaman shall neglect to render himself on board the vessel for which he has shipped at the time mentioned in such memorandum without giving twenty-four hours' notice of his inability to do so, and if the master of the vessel shall, on the day in which such neglect happened, make an entry in the log book of such vessel of the name of such seaman, and shall in like manner note the time that he so neglected to

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render himself after the time appointed, then every such seaman shall forfeit for every hour which he shall so neglect to render himself onehalf of one day's pay, according to the rate of wages agreed upon, to be deducted out of the wages. If any such seaman shall wholly neglect to render himself on board of such vessel, or having rendered himself on board shall afterwards desert, he shall forfeit all of his wages or emoluments which he has then earned."

SEC. 3. That section forty-five hundred and twenty-six of the Revised Statutes be, and is hereby, amended so as to read as follows:

"SEC. 4526. In cases where the service of any seaman terminates before the period contemplated in the agreement, by reason of the loss or wreck of the vessel, such seaman shall be entitled to wages for the time of service prior to such termination, but not for any further period. Such seaman shall be considered as a destitute seaman and shall be treated and transported to port of shipment as provided in sections forty-five hundred and seventy-seven, forty-five hundred and seventyeight, and forty-five hundred and seventy-nine of the Revised Statutes of the United States."

SEC. 4. That section forty-five hundred and twenty-nine of the Revised Statutes be, and is hereby, amended so as to read as follows:

"SEC. 4529. The master or owner of any vessel making coasting voyages shall pay to every seaman his wages within two days after the termination of the agreement under which he shipped, or at the time such seaman is discharged, whichever first happens; and in the case of vessels making foreign voyages, or from a port on the Atlantic to a port on the Pacific, or vice versa, within twenty-four hours after the cargo has been discharged, or within four days after the seaman has been discharged, whichever first happens; and in all cases the seaman shall, at the time of his discharge, be entitled to be paid, on account of wages, a sum equal to one-third part of the balance due him. Every master or owner who refuses or neglects to make payment in manner hereinbefore mentioned without sufficient cause shall pay to the seamen a sum equal to one day's pay for each and every day during which payment is delayed beyond the respective periods, which sum shall be recoverable as wages in any claim made before the court; but this section shall not apply to the masters or owners of any vessel the seamen on which are entitled to share in the profits of the cruise or voyage."

SEC. 5. That section forty-five hundred and thirty of the Revised Statutes be, and is hereby, amended to read as follows:

"SEC. 4530. Every seaman on a vessel of the United States shall be entitled to receive from the master of the vessel to which he belongs one-half part of the wages which shall be due him at every port where such vessel, after the voyage has commenced, shall load or deliver cargo before the voyage is ended unless the contrary be expressly stipulated in the contract; and when the voyage is ended every such seaman shall be entitled to the remainder of the wages which shall then be due him as provided in section forty-five hundred and twenty-nine of the Revised Statutes."

SEC. 6. That section forty-five hundred and forty-seven of the Revised Statutes be, and is hereby, amended to read as follows:

"SEC. 4547. If the master against whom such summons is issued neglects to appear, or, appearing, does not show that the wages are paid or otherwise satisfied or forfeited, and if the matter in dispute is not forthwith settled, the judge or justice or commissioner shall certify

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to the clerk of the district court that there is sufficient cause of com-
plaint whereon to found admiralty process; and thereupon the clerk
of such court shall issue process against the vessel. In all cases where
the matter in demand does not exceed one hundred dollars the return
day of the monition or citation shall be the first day of a stated or
special session of court next succeeding the third day after the service
of the monition or citation, and on the return of process in open court,
duly served, either party may proceed therein to proofs and hearing
without other notice, and final judgment shall be given according to
the usual course of admiralty courts in such cases. In such suits all
the seamen having cause of complaint of the like kind against the
same vessel may be joined as complainants, and it shall be incumbent
on the master to produce the contract and log book, if required to ascer-
tain any matter in dispute; otherwise the complainants shall be per-
mitted to state the contents thereof, and the burden of proof of the con-
trary shall be on the master. But nothing herein contained shall pre-
vent any seaman from maintaining any action at common law for the
recovery of his wages, or having immediate process out of any court
having admiralty jurisdiction wherever any vessel may be found, in
case she shall have left the port of delivery where her voyage ended
before payment of the wages, or in case she shall be about to proceed
to sea before the end of the ten days next after the day when such
wages are due, in accordance with section forty-five hundred and
twenty-nine of the Revised Statutes."

SEC. 7. That section forty-five hundred and fifty-six of the Revised
Statutes be, and hereby is, amended so as to read as follows:

"SEC. 4556. If the first and second officers under the master or a majority of the crew of any vessel bound on any voyage shall, before the vessel shall have left the harbor, discover that the vessel is too leaky or is otherwise unfit in her crew, body, tackle, apparel, furniture, provisions, or stores to proceed on the intended voyage, and shall require such unfitness to be inquired into, the master shall, upon the request of the first and second officers under the master or such majority of the crew, forthwith apply to the judge of the district court of that judicial district, if he shall there reside, or if not, to some justice of the peace of the city, town, or place for the appointment of surveyors, as in section forty-five hundred and fifty-seven provided, taking with him two or more of the crew who shall have made such request; and any master refusing or neglecting to comply with these provisions shall be liable to a penalty of five hundred dollars."

SEC. 8. That section forty-five hundred and fifty-seven of the Revised
Statutes be, and hereby is, amended to read as follows:

"SEC. 4557. The judge, or justice, in a domestic port, shall, upon such application of the master or commander, issue his precept, directed to three persons in the neighborhood, the most experienced and skillful in maritime affairs that can be procured; and whenever such complaint is about the provisions one of such surveyors shall be a physician or a surgeon of the Marine Hospital Service, if such service is established at the place where the complaint is made. It shall be the duty of such surveyors to repair on board such vessel and to examine the same in respect to the defects and insufficiencies complained of, and make reports to the judge, or justice, as the case may be, in writing, under their hands or the hands of two of them, whether in any or in what respect the vessel is unfit to proceed on the intended voyage, and what addition of men, provisions, or stores, or what repairs or altera

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